Effective Leaders Focus on Follower Engagement

Much of what I write and teach about servant leadership comes, frankly, from a moral, “do good”, outlook. This may sound cheesy, but I’m a cheesy guy; servant leadership from all leaders and teachers and coaches and managers and parents, everywhere, would make the world a much better place for everyone. But there is a utilitarian way of looking at this also. Keeping people engaged insures a much greater likelihood that the goals of the organization will be attained.
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Effective Leaders have Vision, but what IS “Vision”?!

So many believe that leaders are “visionary”. It’s true – but a problem is this:
The concept of vision is “out there”, esoteric, hard to grasp. Aren’t visionary leaders somehow “special” in that regard? How can you “teach” vision?
A working definition of “Vision” as it applies to leaders:
Vision is a two-fold ability:
1) the ability to accurately see the current reality of the organization/situation, and
2) the ability to creatively see the possibilities of the organization/situation. … Read More

Effective Leaders Pause and Listen

“What don’t I know I don’t know?”

Putting the needs of others first, and acting in support of your organization are key elements of servant leadership. That’s basic. But there can be an arrogance there, too; you can assume that you know what is needed – because you’re the leader, and you ought to know. This is what Peter Block refers to as a paternalistic view of leadership — “taking care” of people who “don’t know better” as opposed to a true commitment to learning what is needed. … Read More

Leaders Model the Behavior they Expect

What would it be like if the managers modeled the behavior that ought to be expected?

Ever seen a train? Ever seen the cars pass the engine? Never. If you’re a leader, and you do things at level 10, your followers will likely do them at an “8”. If you have a rough day, and your effort is a “7”, expect your followers to be at a “5”.

To paraphrase Kouzes and Posner:

Leaders model the way by setting the example for others in ways that are consistent with their values. This promotes consistent progress and building of commitment. … Read More

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